Accessibility statement

Front-loaded learning design

By using a front-loading course design, we may introduce an online component at the beginning of a course as a means of introduction or a pre-testing phase. The aim here can be to maximise face-to-face time on campus by requiring students to complete a range of structured preparatory tasks, which help to establish a baseline of knowledge or a shared understanding of the key concepts, so that everyone arrives at the class sessions with a common understanding.

This can be achieved by front-loading reading, reflection and collaborative tasks, so that students grasp the basics before arriving at the class session. Assessment activities can also be introduce here to assess progress – students’ understanding of the target concepts, or more progressively it could be used to assess knowledge and skills levels  which will then inform the pitch and delivery of the class-based teaching.

Flipped classroom

A specific case of blended learning design is called the ‘flipped classroom’ approach. The key idea in flipped classroom learning designs is to shift the one-way delivery of content online to use the face-to-face contact time for collaborative and applied learning. The aim then is to encourage students to come prepared to face-to-face sessions with the basic knowledge of a topic which they can then build upon through learning activities in class and subsequent follow-up activities or assessment.

However, linking to a YouTube video or pre-recording a mini lecture is not likely to support learning on its own. Flipped classroom approaches require designed-in learning activities that enable students to take the lecture content and learn through doing something with it, whether that’s problem solving, discussion or a creative task.

The following 'flipped learning toolkit' aims to provide a concise, searchable introduction to the core principles of flipped learning, and how to approach introducing flipped learning to your module or programme of study. 

The following page on flipped classroom learning designs includes examples and case studies.